Atlanta ’Robbin’ Season’ Season 2 Episode 7 Review ’Champagne Papi’

***Spoilers Ahead***

Champagne Papi

Photo: Zazie Beetz. Credit: Atlanta/FX

As a whole, Atlanta usually does a spectacular job at crafting the atmosphere of a party or social gathering. The crowded and awkward environments of 'The Club' and 'Juneteenth' prove that the series knows how to transport the viewer into the show's setting. With that said, 'Champagne Papi' follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. The one difference is that this installment centers on Van instead of Earn. Through this, 'Champagne Papi' provides a fresh perspective to a familiar setting.

'Champagne Papi' focuses on Van and her friends going to a New Years party to meet Drake. Most of the episode takes place through the eyes of Zazie's character. Similar to past party-centric outings, Van encounters strange people and feels uncomfortable in the foreign location. Nadine being drugged and Van's meeting with Brandon develop the disturbing mood that contrasts the celebratory atmosphere. These moments admirably shed light on the type of dangerous situations that parties ignite. While not as profound as previous statements, the episode essentially criticizes the transparency of social media through the revelation that Drake is merely a cardboard cut-out. It may not be the most original message, but Atlanta handles it in a comedic way instead of being preachy. The best moment of 'Champagne Papi' comes towards the end when Van finds Darius sitting with Nadine. Darius's speech about life being a simulation wraps up the installment's central theme in an elegant manner. Despite his goofy nature, even Van can't deny that Darius was being the voice of reason.

Elsewhere, one of Van's friends criticizes a white girl for being together with a black celebrity. Initially, I sided with the consensus that Van's friend had. But, hearing the backstory of the actor's girlfriend made the argument of Van's friend seem a bit ignorant. Nevertheless, the writers did an immaculate job at highlighting the viewpoints of both women.

'Champagne Papi' is another solid chapter in the saga of Atlanta. From being robbed out of a meeting with Drake to Van's friend leaving her to go to T-Pain, the episode truly captures the meaning of fake love. While not as funny as 'Barbershop' or as thought-provoking as 'Teddy Perkins', it still dishes out some hilarious moments and produces a well-crafted message. These past three episodes have been magnificent, but I hope the series goes back to stories that center on the ensemble as a whole. Standalone installments are great, but I definitely miss the chemistry between Van, Alfred, Earn, and Darius.

Stray Thoughts
  • Drake is Mexican. 
  • I fully expected Atlanta to have a fake Drake like they did with Justin Bieber in season 1.
  • Only Atlanta can have a New Years episode in April. 
  • This season has one more episode than season 1!
  • Darius should become a life coach. 

Grade: B

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